May 19, 2010

Marriott Spirit to Serve Day

One day of Marriott Associate Appreciation Week is reserved for serving the community. This isn't new to me, as Deloitte & Touche had a similar service day called Impact Day, but it always makes you feel good to know that your company is at least making some visible effort to improve the communities in which it operates. And this wasn't just Marriott headquarters doing service, it was all of the hotels and offices around the world, which makes for a substantial sacrifice of working hours by the Marriott company.The CSA department was split up, and my group was assigned to work on North Gate Park in Aspen Hill, Maryland. We had a variety of tasks to work on, including:
sweeping the walking paths/trails,
painting railings, picnic tables, benches, and the park sign,
clearing garbage from the woods,
spreading sod seed near pathways,
pulling debris (including old jeans) out of the stream,
and applying/spreading new bark all over the playground.
Some kids and parents from the community even joined in the effort, which was very cool, because they'll feel more of a sense of ownership over the park now that they've helped beautify the area and prepare it for use.We had some law enforcement on hand, mostly because in the past they've found items that required their supervision (namely, a pistol that was found in the woods last year). This year, our woods-cleaners found some drug paraphernalia and a switchblade, so I suppose that shows improvement, right?I think we'd all agree that it was an excellent day and that North Gate Park was left in much better condition than when we arrived. Hopefully the kids and parents who use it will enjoy our work and appreciate their little nature zone for a long time to come.

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